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04-01-2019 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2019

Journal of Child and Family Studies 3/2019

Factors in the Perceived Stress Scale Differentially Associate with Mindfulness Disposition and Executive Function among Early Adolescents

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 3/2019
Afton Kechter, David S. Black, Nathaniel R. Riggs, Christopher M. Warren, Anamara Ritt-Olson, Chih-Ping Chou, Mary Ann Pentz
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The first aim was to test the factor structure and item-loadings of the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) when administered to early adolescents. The second aim was to examine associations between PSS factors, mindfulness disposition, and executive function.


We analyzed data collected from 331 students in grade seven (M age = 12.4, 48.9% female, 47.1% White, 26.0% Hispanic, 37.8% received free-lunch) classrooms from two ethnically/racially and socio-economically diverse schools. Participants completed paper and pencil self-report measures of stress (PSS), mindfulness disposition (Mindful Awareness Attention Scale, MAAS), and executive function (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, BRIEF). We tested the statistical association between two factors of the PSS: perceived coping and perceived distress with MAAS and BRIEF.


A two-factor model of the PSS, inclusive of perceived coping and perceived distress, fit the data better than a one-dimensional model. MAAS and BRIEF scores were inversely associated with PSS distress scores (β = −0.62, p < 0.0001 and β = −0.66, p< 0.0001, respectively), but not PSS coping scores (β = −0.04, p = 0.21 and β = −0.02, p = 0.57, respectively) in a model adjusted for sex, race, and socio-economic status.


Two factors in the PSS emerged among early adolescents and differentially associated with mindfulness disposition and executive function to similar magnitudes. Findings encourage future assessment of perceived stress in a more refined manner across developmental stages in order to examine trajectories of perceived distress versus perceived coping in relation to mindfulness disposition and executive function.

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